The Laramie Boomerang reported that the Albany County Board of Commissioners last week updated its small wind energy systems regulations.
The commissioners approved amendments to their small wind energy systems regulations that will change the height, setback distance and noise requirements for noncommercial wind turbines.
Ken Costello, a Centennial resident who helped propose the amendments to the Albany County Planning and Zoning Commission last year, said changes are needed because the current regulations are outdated.
“We made some proposed changes … based on, I think, some unanticipated situations that didn’t cross the minds of the people who originally drafted these,” he said. “I think the original regulations were made back in the infancy of residential wind power.”
Costello said the proposed amendments are based on small wind energy system regulations in other counties throughout the state and region.
“They take into account current standards that are pretty much nationwide,” he said. “It’s nice to consider the rights of the person who wants to put up a wind tower, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of the neighbors.”
The amendments will modify the definition of tower height to include the blades and generator in addition to the tower. The current regulations exclude the blades and generator in determining a turbine’s height.
The amendments also change the maximum height allowed from 50 feet to 100 feet.
The setback standards will be changed from 200 feet from a residential structure to the greater of either 150 feet or three times the tower’s height from the property line.
“It’s a variable thing,” Costello said. “The setback grows as the size of the tower grows.”